Latin America & Caribbean

Argentine marches condemn domestic violence

March against domestic violence in Buenos Aires. 3 June 2015 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The march in Buenos Aires took the message to outside congress

Thousands of people have taken part in a march in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires condemning violence against women.

Marches against "femicide" also took place in other cities and in neighbouring Chile and Uruguay.

The protests follow recent cases of violence against women that have shocked Argentina.

Women's rights groups, unions, political parties and the Catholic Church have all backed the marches.

In Buenos Aires, marchers carried banners and wore badges proclaiming "Ni una menos" (Not one less) - the rallying cry for the campaign.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The square outside congress in Buenos Aires was packed with protesters
Image copyright AFP
Image caption In Santiago, Chile, protesters lay down to represent victims of femicide
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption 'Not one less' is the protest's rallying cry

Some wore shirts emblazoned with the photos of the victims of domestic violence.

Argentine news agency Telam estimated that more than 200,000 people took part in the rally.

Football star Lionel Messi, who is backing the movement, wrote on Facebook: "Enough femicides. We join all Argentines today in shouting out loud 'not one woman less'."

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner also took to social media, condemning a "culture that devastates women".

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In the Chilean capital, Santiago, about 100 protesters gathered with signs reading "Mourning and outraged".

Several thousand people also marched in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.

Recent cases of violence against women in Argentina include the murder in April of a kindergarten teacher by her estranged husband in front of her class in the central province of Cordoba.

There has also been outrage at the killing of a 14-year-old girl whose boyfriend is accused of beating her to death because she was pregnant.

Argentina adopted a femicide law in 2012 with tough penalties for domestic violence.

Other Latin American countries have also written similar laws into their penal codes. However, campaigners say the laws are not being effectively implemented.

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